Over two decades and a dozen albums, Lambchop has been one of the most inventive bands making new music. Each record seems like a re-invention. Their next album is due out in November, but this week they posted the eighteen minute closing track, “The Hustle,” on Youtube.
It appears their latest interest is minimalism and electronic music along the lines of composer Terry Reilly. We are very excited to hear the rest of the new album.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have explored our passionate relationship with music with a new approach — they have taken scans of the brain’s auditory cortex and put together groups of cells which have similar reactions. There are specific neural pathways in our brains that react almost exclusively to music.
It doesn’t even matter if you like what you’re hearing, there’s a set of neurons in your auditory cortex that do just about nothing but respond to music. They tested all kind of music, from Bach to hip hop. They also tested other sounds — a dog barking, etc — and found no response in the same region.
The study by Sam Norman-Haignere, Nancy Kanwisher and Josh H. McDermott was published in the scientific journal Neuron in December. In a New York Times story, Josef Rauschecker of Georgetown University explains that the study suggests “that the brain gives specialized treatment to music recognition, that it regards music as fundamental a category as speech.” He points out that there are theories that human speech evolved from music.
Scientists with the LIGO Collaboration (Lazer Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) at Louisiana State and Washington State Universities have announced the documentation of gravitational waves. The discovery — which was recorded as a chirping sound rising to a middle C before suddenly ceasing — will, if replicated, prove the final postulate of Einstein’s theory of relativity, first proposed a hundred years ago.
There is sound in space, which is what Sun Ra spent decades telling help us understand.
You can read more about the discovery here. Without hyperbole, reporters have said if proven, the discovery will be the greatest sound advance in science since Sputnik was heard from orbit, and Alexander Graham Bell said, “Mr. Watson, come here.”
Last week the New York Philharmonic announced its new musical director will be the improbably named Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden. He will have big shoes to fill, as he is taking a position held by many music luminaries over the years since the LP was introduced — Leopold Stokowski, Dmitri Mitropolous, Leonard Bernstein and of course the late Pierre Boulez, whose recent passing we posted about last month. Van Zweden will face an even larger challenge as Philharmonic Hall* is closed for a $360 million renovation in 2019, forcing the orchestra to find a new venue.
In reporting the announcement, The New York Times notes several past guest appearances with the Philharmonic which earned praises from the paper. The article also explains how Leonard Bernstein himself first encouraged van Zweden, a violinist, to conduct.
*We don’t care how much money he donates, we’re not going to call it David Geffen Hall.
We thought it would be fun today to re-visit Leonard Bernstein’s debut with the New York Philharmonic, which we posted last spring. On Sunday November 14, 1943, Bernstein filled in for Bruno Walter on a few hours’ notice, conducting a program which began with Robert Schumann’s “Manfred” overture.
Yep, we have posted about this already back in September. We’re pretty excited, so here’s a second reminder: local goth/metal legends Morticia have reunited for a special Halloween show here at Hymie’s!
Morticia released a 7″ single (“Zombie Love” b/w “You Scare Me to Death”) and an LP (Mortal Fear) in 1987. Their last album, 13 Nightmares, was released five years later, and earned a Minnesota Music Award for Best Metal Album. All three albums they released before disbanding in 1994 were on local label Channel 83 Records. In 2005 an Italian label collected highlights from all three on a disc, Exhumed, which was popular enough with metal fans to quickly fall out of print.
Their act was described at the time as an updated Alice Cooper with darker shades of the Damned and Sisters of Mercy, and they were the first goth metal band from the Twin Cities to establish a following. Morticia stopped playing in 1994 with a final show at First Avenue, but reunited in April 2012 to take part in the 25th anniversary celebration of KFAI’s The Root of All Evil program at the Triple Rock.
Founding member Matt Batchelor, who performs these days with Black Rainbow and Vicious Violet. When he came across a couple copies of the original “Zombie Love” single, he brought them into the shop — and our enthusiasm for the songs forged a friendship. We’re really excited to be hosting Morticia’s first show in years.
In the spirit of Halloween, Morticia has prepared thirty treat bags for the first fans in the doors after 4pm. They have been rehearsing and it sounds like it’s going to be an amazing show — please understand it will be crowded here!
We’ll also have some copies of last year’s Hymie’s Halloween mix, which was a big hit with ghosts and goblins of all ages. All we have to do is find the box of pumpkin-stamped CD sleeves we stored somewhere around here…
(Incidentally, we will be DJing our Halloween favorites at Harriet Brewing on Friday night from 11pm to close. The always awesome i like you will be performing a set at 8pm, preceeded by Machinery Hill at 6pm.)
Each year we add a few more spooky singles to our collection, and we’re going to try to squeeze a few more monster party jams onto our Halloween mix. Here’s a couple of this year’s silliest songs.
We’ve posted some ghost stories found on albums here, and also one of our all time favorites Halloween songs (“Werewolf” by the Frantics) here.
A few more Halloween songs will appear on the blog this week!
Morticia will perform here at Hymie’s at 5pm on Halloween. Costumes are encouraged. The Facebook event for the show is here.